Adam Goldberg writes: All U.S. attorneys general have the authority to appoint someone to conduct investigations, vesting investigative and prosecutorial powers in them. Wholly apart from the independent counsel law that expired in 1999, U.S. attorneys general have used this authority precisely at times like these when greater independence is necessary. Most recently, President Bush’s Department of Justice exercised this ability in 2003, when Attorney General Ashcroft recused himself from the investigation into the leaking of a CIA officer’s identity and Deputy Attorney General Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald as special counsel.
That we need a special counsel now is clear from three key facts. First, General Flynn discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador before President Trump took office and lied about it. If, as some say, this could not possibly be a violation of the Logan Act — prohibiting private citizens from interfering with U.S. foreign policy — why lie about it? If General Flynn’s discussions were typical transition work, why deceive the country and the Vice President?
Second, in General Flynn’s resignation letter he stated that he gave “incomplete information” to the Vice President and others, but General Flynn notably omitted giving incomplete information to President Trump. Perhaps that is because he never discussed the issue with President Trump. It is at least as likely, however, that he did — that President Trump knew about the full content of General Flynn’s discussions and did so at the time General Flynn made them. Can we trust President Trump’s own Department of Justice to investigate him? [Continue reading…]